A 1995 study by Terry and Slade, Discriminant effectiveness of psychological state measures in predicting performance outcome in karate competition, found that:
- Athletes tend to have more positive moods than the general population.
- That mood seems to discriminate between winners and losers only when there is little difference in their ability.
- That pre-performance mood measures discriminate only when performance is of short duration.
- That individual sports may be more influenced by mood than team sports.
Using the Profile of Mood States and the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory 2 while examining with 104 brown belts and 104 black belts the researchers found that 92% of the winners could be predicted based on mood and 93.5% of winners could be predicted on the basis of mood and anxiety. In a 1997 study by Chapman, Lane, Brierly, and Terry, Anxiety, self-confidence and performance in Tae Kwon-do, the researches gave the Profile of Mood States and the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory 2 to 142 Taekwondo novices through black belts one hour prior to competition. They found that anxiety scores could predict 63% of winners and losers. The winners were lower on both somatic anxiety and cognitive anxiety.
This all shows that reducing anxiety will tend to increase performance. A 1981 study by Weinberg, Seabourne, and Jackson, Effects of visuo-motor behavior rehearsal, relaxation, and imagery on karate performance, found that imagery prepares the mind and body for competitive performance. Being in a relaxed state combined with the imagery of the competition appears to allow the athlete to develop a relaxed concentration and focus on the relevant cues in the sports environment.
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